Faculty-Student Research

Although most scientists and policymakers believe that climate change is real and is caused by human activities, almost 30% of the electorate are not convinced. Institute of Public Service Professor Jonathan Pierce used a form of storytelling called “policy narratives” to determine best ways to explain climate change. Watch the video, and read the article here.


Professors Hayes-Murtinho
Above the Treeline

Evaluating policy that pays poor to NOT use land in order to conserve water. Read More.

Ghost Signs: A project of the
Community Design Workshop
for the City of Seattle
With Professor Marie R. Wong.

Read more.

Additional Community Design Workshop projects include: 

Spring 2016: Worker Cooperatives: A Vehicle for Community Collaboration, Sustainability, and Economic Empowerment for Seattle

The project focused on researching Producers’ Cooperatives or Worker-owned cooperatives.  Research included a general history and description of Cooperatives and their function, and specific information about the populations that are and can be served by Cooperatives; structuring of a Cooperative (including organization of governing body, development of goals and objectives, measuring effectiveness and establishing criteria of performance standards of success and longevity of the proposed program; financial mechanisms for support (including municipal, other governmental, quasi-governmental, and non-governmental entities, capital campaigns, and grants); details on profit-sharing such as worker ownership/shares and profits; and Institutional and public support.

Spring and Fall 2014, Spring 15:  Stairways of Seattle:

This was the largest studio project undertaken to date that included the work of 32 students over a 30-week study period.  The project focused on Seattle’s 549 public stairways that provide neighborhood and community access.  Managed by the Seattle Department of Transportation, these stairways are also included in neighborhood plans and preservation projects under the Department of Neighborhoods.  This study included a physical survey and inventory, condition assessment, and research chapters on stairway history, ordinances, design, materials and construction.

Spring 2012:  Making Food Matter:

The project researched urban agriculture programs that are taught to K-12 grade students in Seattle and in other cities that are running successful programs.  The research investigated 1) the development of specific lesson plans and how these address and incorporate other academic disciplines; and 2) how these programs measure the success of their respective programs.  The research was used to launch a program between InterIm Community Development Association  in the Chinatown/International District (ID) and Bailey Gatzert Elementary to teach urban agriculture to children and young people who live in the Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI) area.

2011: Prism Glass in Pioneer Square and the Chinatown-International District:  

The project focused on the glass prism lights that are part of the areaway construction of Seattle's downtown buildings and specifically in the Central Business District, Pioneer Square, and the Chinatown-International District.  These lights have also been commonly referred to as “purple glass lights” or “sidewalk light inserts.”  They appear decorative as you walk over the sidewalks but are also functional in that they provide light for the basement areas of immediately adjacent buildings. Their presence is all part of the history of Seattle’s built history. Sidewalks are part of the public right-of-way and are owned by the City of Seattle but their maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner and the maintenance includes these light prisms.  The project conducted a full inventory of these prism light locations and an accompanying document of their built history and contemporary replacement.  Project was awarded Honorable Mention by the American Planning Association/Planning Association of Washington.